A Lockdown Christmas? Why being at home is the best decision.

OK so we begin Lockdown 2.0 today.

Bonfire Night.  5th November.

It's a good idea, it will - I hope - save lives.

And the bare fact is that we might probably/possibly be in Lockdown for Christmas this year.

And don't shoot me, but I think it is a good idea and - personally - a relief; and not just because of COVID-19.

We used to "have to" drive 600 miles in the two or three days just before Christmas to see relatives.
It was expected of us. 
Even one year with severe weather warnings and freak snow drifts. 

Once we were there it was like standing at the net during Wimbledon with thwacks of insults flying from one adult to the other throughout our stay. 
(Why these people were married and stayed together making each other bloody miserable was beyond me.)
It was during one particular horrible pre-Christmas jaunt that I said I wouldn't be doing it again.
It wasn't fun.
It wasn't Christmassy.
We'd done enough.

So when the next year, the conversations turned to "and of course you'll be here for the 23rd, won't you?" we were ready with;
"No. We've made other plans this year.  Your gifts will be in the post."

And it felt good!

Christmas has not always been good though.

As a child and the youngest of a large family, I grew up knowing money was tight.  
For Christmas I would always have a hand knitted jumper amongst my few gifts, 
a puzzle, a couple of books, a small toy or two. 
Always new underwear or pyjamas.
But I was brought up to understand what was in the presents didn't really matter.
It was seeing them wrapped up under the tree, the tree with twinkly lights on, Christmas films on the telly, Christmassy music playing, and being with people for a posh dinner at the table.  With a tablecloth!
My dad always volunteered to work night shifts on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.   He slept through most of Christmas Day to go back to work again at 6pm.
We knew his wages helped the family. (Although as a small child I thought he was actually Father Christmas...)
Even then, we had a bit nicer food at Christmas time: a tin of biscuits and tinned ham, and mum's homemade mince pies.

In my early 20s as a newly-wed, I had my disabled mum over to share Christmas Day with us. Again, a roast meal, simple gifts, music and decorations and a film on the telly.

Then as a single mum Christmas changed. 
And it was horrible.
In the morning on Christmas Day just after opening her gifts, GD had to go to her birth father and didn't come back until the day after Boxing Day. 
I would just go to bed and sob.

I had my build-up, throughout December; and I had Christmas Eve - but there are lots of tales springing to mind that I'm not going to write about here. (One year he stood on the doorstep and made her 'remove' the Christmas jumper I had knitted her with sparkly wool as he didn't want it in his car..)

Horrible, horrible time.

Then our first year with Man Wonderful.
GD still went to see her birth father, but it was more bearable.  With another man in our lives the ex behaved much better towards me on handovers for a start.

And the year Gorgeous Daughter decided to stay at home for the whole of Christmas.
That was the best gift. 

(Just wiping my face!)



I've been through shite Christmases at the beck and call and arse-end of other people.
My remedy is to decide what you want, keep it simple and celebrate the event.  Not how much money you do/don't have or whether Lockdown means you can't fly to Ibiza or the Cayman Islands this year.

It's time for you this year.

It's only 51 sleeps away...

Take care,

Tracey xx


  1. I gave up pleasing other people at Christmas years ago and now do what we want to do as a family. A simple celebration with good food and homemade gifts, I love it.

  2. I totally get the travelling thing. When our sons were young, my MIL expected us to drive 1200km each way to visit for Christmas. My Mum lived a 60 minute drive from her. We were expected to stay at my Mum's and drive back and forth to visit. I snapped the year we were leaving her house at midnight and she told us she expected us back for breakfast at 08! That was the year it was announced they would be welcome to come and visit us at Christmas. 25 years later, we're still waiting.

  3. However you spend your Christmas I wish you a wonderful time. We all need our own Christmas traditions, maybe your advice will help some people find new ones, simpler more heartfelt ones. Stay safe x

  4. I would love nothing more than to have a Christmas at home. We have really cut back on the amount of visiting we do these days, but the chap will always want to see his mum on Christmas Day, she lives alone and he's an only child. I dread it all day then tend to have a really good time.

    Last year we fibbed and said we had tickets to a football match to get out of a Boxing Day party, we stayed at home, watched the match on the telly and enjoyed the fact there were no party games!

  5. I've been in that situation too. I'm rather hoping that it will be just Tony and me this year. We can eat breakfast in bed and stay there all day if we want. I've always had people here for Christmas day and just once it would be lovely to just do whatever pleases us.

  6. After too many years of pleasing other people I've recently learned to spend Christmas as I want, but with the exception of a roast dinner, I'd much prefer vegetable lasagne :)


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